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British Columbia Employer Advisor Keeping Employers Posted on Developments in Labour and Employment Law

Tag Archives: just cause

Workplace Drug Dealing Provides After-Acquired Cause for Termination

Employer had just cause based on evidence discovered after termination

Posted in Investigations, Just Cause, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

In most cases, employees who commit misconduct will face the consequences of their actions during their employment, in the form of discipline or even termination for just cause. But, what if the employer only learns of an employee’s misconduct after the employee is dismissed without cause? What recourse does the employer have? The British Columbia… → Read More

What Do Your Policies Say About Termination?

… and does it matter?

Posted in Damages, Employment Standards, Termination, US vs.Canadian Employment Law, Wrongful Dismissal

Many employers have policies about termination, and specifically about what an employee is entitled to if terminated without cause.  It is a good idea to try to manage the cost of terminations, but it needs to be done properly to be effective. Oliver v. Sure Grip Controls is a recent case where a termination policy… → Read More

No Just Cause for Termination

Problems with clarity, training, consistency and investigation

Posted in Employee Obligations, Just Cause, Litigation, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

A recent decision of the BC Supreme Court went in favour of an employee who was terminated by her employer for alleged conflict of interest and breaches of policy.  The court determined that there was a lack of clarity, training and consistency in its policies and procedures, and a flawed investigation:  Ogden v. CIBC. Ms…. → Read More

“Workplace Investigations – Part 3”

Posted in Discipline, Discrimination, Human Rights, Investigations, Just Cause, Termination, Workers Compensation, Wrongful Dismissal

In earlier posts, here and here, we discussed some legal issues that arise in workplace investigations. In this post, we will discuss some of the privacy issues that can arise. The investigator is often asked by nervous employees whether their identity and the information they give will be kept confidential. This cannot be guaranteed.  Employees being… → Read More

Workplace Investigations – Part 2

Posted in Damages, Discipline, Human Rights, Investigations, Just Cause, Termination, Workers Compensation, Wrongful Dismissal

In an earlier post, we discussed when employers may wish to conduct workplace investigations.  In this post we’ll discuss who should conduct the investigation. Being lawyers, we usually have a quick answer to this:  legal counsel. We recognize, however, that clients don’t have unlimited funds.  So practically speaking, each situation will have to be assessed… → Read More

Workplace Investigations – Part 1

Posted in Damages, Investigations, Just Cause, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

With the complexity of workplace law and issues, employers are subject to an increasing number of workplace obligations.  When a workplace incident arises it’s often required, or at least advisable, that an employer conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. In this and subsequent posts, we will review some key legal issues that arise in conducting… → Read More

Wal-Mart Ordered to Pay Over 1 Million in Damages

Posted in Damages, Discrimination, Just Cause, Litigation, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

On October 10, 2012, a jury awarded a former Wal-Mart employee over $1.4 million dollars in damages.  The jury found that the employee was constructively dismissed due to an abusive work environment at the Windsor Wal-Mart store.  This is the largest such award in Canadian history and, as expected, will be appealed by Wal-Mart. Summary… → Read More

At Will Employment: What’s the Big Deal?

Posted in Damages, Employment Standards, Just Cause, Termination, US vs.Canadian Employment Law, Wrongful Dismissal

Employment in Canada is not “at will”. But is at will employment really all it’s cracked up to be? Does it make the United States a friendlier place for employers? We don’t think so and we are happy to engage Jeff Polsky in the discussion. Jeff started this on the California Employment Law blog with a post, Like… → Read More

Jury Awards Punitive Damages

Posted in Damages, Just Cause, Litigation, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

A jury in Prince George, British Columbia has awarded $573,000 in punitive damages to a terminated employee.  It may be the highest such award in Canadian employment law history. The employee had worked for Babine Forest Products for 34 years.  The company was acquired by Portland, Oregon based Hampton Lumber Mills in 2006.  The employee… → Read More

Just Cause – Dishonesty, Breach of Contract, Good Faith

Posted in Employee Obligations, Just Cause, Litigation, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

It is always difficult for an employer to prove just cause.  In an earlier post, we discussed performance based just cause.  This post looks at a recent case from British Columbia that found just cause based on dishonesty, breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith. Ernst was hired as a senior… → Read More

When Do Performance Problems Amount to Just Cause?

Posted in Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

Our courts continue to emphasize how difficult it is to establish just cause for termination based on performance. A recent case made it clear that any such termination must be preceded by a very clear and current warning. The court accepted that the employee’s performance was clearly below standard, but not “grossly deficient”. Accordingly, a warning was… → Read More